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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just finished building a machine for a friend, and have been running it with the case open. Just before I went to close the case, I noticed that 2 of the (IDE) HD's were VERY hot. Almost too hot to touch.

When I assembled the machine, I had to put 2 of the HD's right next to each other in order to route power to all 3 HD's (plus a DVD burner). At the time, I knew that you were supposed to separate them for heat concerns, but didn't feel like I had any choice.

I've been playing with computers for a few years, and am familiar with CPU and Video Heat Issues, but have never read anything about Heat as it relates to Hard Drives.

So this morning I drove up to the local Computer Shop and spoke to a Tech there, and he had some suprising (to me) news.

He said that Heat is VERY critical, and that chronic overheating can cause a continuous degradative effect on the HD, ultimately resulting in complete failure and total data loss. He also said that there is an "acute" risk with over-heating as well, and that a spike in HD temperature could also kill a HD in a very short amount of time.

The computer I built is for a friend's small business, so the data on the HD's has a definable monetary value. So the risk of losing the data is of great concern.

The problem I have with what this Tech said is that he also said some other things that do not sound credible. Such as, when I asked if I could purchase an 6" Power Supply Cable Extension and solve the problem of the close proximity of the HD's that way, he said that it was not a viable solution as using a cable extension give a "critical point of failure" or some-such "buzz-phrase". He then (vaguely) extolled all the terrible things that could happen if I used such a cable, including killing the machine completely.

His solution was to buy a whole new Power Supply, and throw the old one in the trash. When I told him that the Power Supply I am using is an Antec 350W, he said it didn't matter, and that the short power cables made it unusable. Frankly, at this point, I thought the guy was an idiot.

But I am not certain of this, and am asking for a second opinion.

How critical is HD overheating ? I've never seen it discussed on Tech forums, nor have I ever seen a HD with any kind of "radiator" or heat-dissipation system. Is "almost-too-hot-to-touch" TOO hot ?

Is there an objective way to define (and check) what "too hot" is ?

Thanks in advance for help & advise.
 

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Hard Drive heat is a MAJOR consideration / hard drives will do an auto shutdown or act-up at about 55C / of course the manufacturer is not going to warranty a drive subjected to excessive heat.

That is a good reason why Thermaltake makes the Hardcano model A1282
hard drive temp monitor and cooler

http://www.circotech.com/yhst-15681...o-iii-hard-drive-cooler-hard-cano-disk-3.html

as for the PSU discussion / I personally think the tech was right on the money with his suggestion / first of all a 350 watt psu doesnt even come close to meeting the power requirements of todays machines (p4's and recent AMD releases) especially given the fact that the system has three drives !!! 350 watt PSU's were in vogue early in 2000 -2001 in P3 systems not P4's of today / especially when using a video card that takes its own dedicated molex connector and 45watts of power !!!!!!! 85-100 watts for the cpu another 25 watts is needed by the motherboard / yeah you get the picture now / that 350 watt antec just aint up to that task / now factor in the fact that PSU's (like any electrical componet) are only 70% efficient ~~ which translates thats its not efficient putting out more than 250 watts ~~ maybe ??????

Couple that with the hard drive "bunching" and yep the rock will be cookin !!

I hope your friend keeps good back-up procedures maintained because there is gonna be some frying in that one ?????

I would opt at the drop of a hat to pick up an antec 550 watt tru-power / you will find the power leads to be extra long and give you an oppurtunity to spread out those drives / there is NO electrical component that can withstand high heat for extended periods / they have operational design specs.

to give you some added info / I am currently running 3 SCSI 15,000 RPM drives / I monitor their heat constantly because these drives cost me big bucks / they spin twice as fast as any IDE drive / faster spinning equals faster data access and write times but it also means alot more heat much more heat - yet my drives never exceed 32C / 7200 rpm IDE drives should be MUCH cooler than that !!

good-luck

joe
 

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It sounds like he gave you the right advice, and why wouldn't he? I don't see what he could gain from lying to you.

As fast as hard drives spin, they are going to produce a good bit of heat (especially if you stack them). This is why your system should be properly ventilated/cooled with properly placed fans, or other methods of cooling.

Yes, there are heatsinks and other cooling devices made specifically for hard drives. Read here.

I'm not quite sure about the power supply extension cable, but to me it seems like you would be adding another point of failure like the tech said. Personally, I would make sure my drives were directly connected to the power supply cables.
 

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I would put a good quality PSU in that machine and spread the drives out as much as you can. Then install a couple of fans right in front of them to cool them down.

I have a cheap Maxtor 120Gig 7200 RPM drive on my machine. I bought a Vantec dual fan cooler for $9.95 and installed it on the HD. The temps went from 122F to 78F.

Vantec Link
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Under-Powered

It never occured to me that the Antec 350 might be inadequate.

Could someone please break down the power consumption for my system and show me where I am at for usage ?

I have:

Athlon 1300 on Gigabyte board w/ CPU fan
3 IDE HD's
BenQ 1640 DVD burner
Realtek 9139 Ethernet card
PCI Modem
GeForce 5700 Video card w/ fan
On-Board AC97 sound
1 - AOpen wireless PS-2 mouse
1 - Logitech optical mouse
2 - 90 mm case fans
3 - 250 Mbyte DDR RAM

When I look over this list, I can't believe a good-quality Antec 350W can't handle the power usage. Could someone please show me ?

Thanks in advance.
 

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@ BunHoney86
Here is a nifty power supply calculator. Your system isn't a cutting edge gaming machine by any stretch of the imagination. With all due respect for the others, I personally think you will be OK since it is a 350Watt Antec a well known name. If it were a 350W piece of scrap metal no name, I would concur that a new PSU should be a high priority.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Cool!

Yeah that was nifty. I ran my hardware and it recommended 294 Watt Power Supply. I assume the calculator already has a "fudge factor" built in, so the extra 50 Watts should be a pretty good margin of safety.

That is a cool tool. Thanks for the tip.
 

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If PSU's are only 70% efficient, then your 350 watt PSU is pushing 245.

Even if it's 100% efficient, it's still kinda borderline...

Not to hijack the thread TOO much, but i've got a WD Raptor 10k rpm drive...

would air cooling be enough to get the temp down to prolong life?
 

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my compaq evo n610c heats to 55-60 C within 30mins of running (with very low load) ... (this is what shows in everest home) .. its a Hitachi 40gb drive ...

is it tht cricitcal ?

i have heard evo n610c overheats ... but i have no idea abt the critical temps ...
 

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Rash: / air colling is sufficient >>> a somewhat expensive drive like the raptor is well worth a Thermaltake Hardcano A1282


55C-60C is hard drive burning range / is it the Hitachi Deskstar aka DEATHSTAR

I will bet its not just your drive thats burning up / what are your system temps/ cpu temps / system voltages look like ??????

and yeah fellas >>>> we are butchering her thread but then again i think she has gathered all the info she wasnt looking for


joe
 

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This is a Hitachi_DK23EA-40

it says in Everest Home edition:

Sensor Type: HDD

Tempature:

CPU: 46 degree C 115 degree F

HITACHI_DK23EA-40: 56 degree C 133 Degree F

internal fan is running (ventilation is not blocked) :S

there is no cooling fan or voltage value :S
 

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Bok:

download sandra lite (free)
http://www.download.com/3000-2086-10018691.html


once installed / open the program & select "mainboard " in there it will give you system temps/ cpu temps/ voltage readings


post them in here for tech evaluation & reccommendations

regards

joe
 

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@ bokchod , Rashiki
You both would benefit from installing a fan in front of the HDDs. In most cases there are mounting points for a fan, usually 80mm, but sometimes 92mm or 120mm. You don't need much, just a slow turning one (80mm=1000-1500rpm(I find 2500rpm too loud)/120mm=700-1000RPM) for quiet cooling. Try monitoring temps before and after to see the result. If you need to adjust speed, a zalman fanmate2 works well.
 

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Ras:

just for the sake of discussion there is no such beast as a PSU thats 100% efficient / this is evident by the heat made by a PSU]\ The premier PSU makers are now boasting 75% efficiency on high load and 80% efficiency on low load / this translates to a 450 watt power supply can only be "EXPECTED" to convert DC voltage amounting to 338 watts of power HMMMMM so when you go to a power calculator website and they say you need a 300 watts to do the job / what they are really saying is you need a 450 watt GOOD QUALITY supply to have 38 watts left over !!!!!!


Quote:

If a power supply is consuming 450 Watts from the AC side, but on the DC side the output is only 400 Watts, then the math tells us that the PSU is ~89% efficient in its power conversion and the other 11% (50W) is lost as heat. That 50W of heat is no different than if you were running a 50W light bulb, you pay for that power usage on your electric bill. Not to mention the heat must be cooled, so there is an additional cooling cost that some people don't think about. So in the short-term a cheaper PSU may fit your budget better, but in the long term you will end up paying for it several times over. It is definitely worth comparing power supply efficiency ratings and choosing the most efficient power supply that your budget allows for.

regards

joe
 

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I have everest home, and i hadn't gone through it enough to check the temperatures on the HDD.

There is an 80mm fan for intake in the front bottom of the case, and it happens to be right where i mounted my hard drive. The HDD is running at 27c, so i am not going to worry about it right away :) Thank you.
 

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Rash:

27C is an excellent temp / no further attention needed !!


Bok However: needs to do some troubleshooting / hard drives dont usually overheat on their own / gernerally speaking if you have a hard drive running 55C you also have some other componets that are running too hot . Hopefully just some added case cooling will address that / but I would be throughly evaluating the system as a whole / a poor performing psu will also make componets heat up / but not just the hard drive ??????



joe
 

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it just didnt wait for any troubleshooting .. :(

it is gone .. burnt away!! :S ... when i have installed sandra .. checked the minboard tab, it said thermal status was safe, and after 1 hr (on ac power) ... the system shutdown, and didnt start :S .. took that to repairshop, and they said it(HDD) is gone, i have heard evo n610c have severe problems with heating, didnt expect like this :(

i am gonna buy a maxtor 40gb and a slim fan :S

processor temp is around 33 C (air temp is around 30 C now) .. i dont think thts a problem (is it?).
 

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BOK:

Your processor temp and system temps are good !! Sorry to hear about your hard drive.

I would stay clear of the Maxtor drives if I were you / the apprear to have the highest failure rate of all / probally explains why they have only one year warranty ?????

Look on ebay for Western Digital 7200 rpm 8 meg cache 40 gig / should be able to pick one up for about $25.00 +/-

Seagate has the best warranty / 5 years

best investment = $5.00 case fan blowing on hard drive !! = priceless :)


good luck & happy computing

joe
 

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thanks for ur suggestion ... i will check WD or seagate (and certainly a fan :D)

though one of my desktop systems have 2 40gb maxtor (5200rpm) .. they are sitting there for 5 years now ... no bad sector .. no sound :D (one of them are actually used as mobile drive .. i carry tht with me) :D .. exceptional life and luck! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Not Quite...

...but then again i think she has gathered all the info she wasnt looking for...
I did like you suggested about the "priceless" case fan and added two 90 mm case fans to the front of the case, as it had installation screw-holes for two. They are blowing directly on the HD's and seem to be doing a good job of keeping them cool. I verified this by installing "Speedfan" and (using the S.M.A.R.T. feature) monitored them at about 105 F.

Which raised so other questions. :sayyes:

In addition to the two HD temps, Speedfan also reported on 3 temps from the computer. The CPU temp was reported at 32 F, which obviously is wrong. The computer's BIOS reports the CPU temp at a "reasonable" number, but I would like to be able to monitor the temp in Windows. Speedfan has a great reputation, but I couldn't seem to tweak it into reporting my CPU temp, and was wondering if there was a better temp monitoring software available, or if someone could help me adjust Speedfan to work correctly.

Also, I assumed that one of the other two "Motherboard" temperatures being reported by Speedfan would be the "ambient" temperature of the case. I would like to know if this is true or not, so I can get a sense of how hot it is getting inside the case (and how well my 3 case fans are cooling it).

Any help appreciated, thanks in advance.
 
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